Category Archives: Protecting The Family

A Letter To Young Black Women

Recently in the news was controversy from a letter a former Princeton alumnus wrote to the young women on the campus of Princeton. In short, it advised these women to select a husband before they were done at the school because they will never be around so many smart, promising, and available marriage prospects again. I really didn’t understand what the big deal was since she is absolutely right. There is no place like a high end college to be surrounded by future doctors, lawyers, and engineers untouched by divorce, kids, settlements, or any other drama or anchors. You, also, get to see what kind of friends they have, what kind of activities they are involved in, and how do they handle themselves in a sexually liberated environment. It is like picking a strawberry straight from the field versus buying one listed on Ebay.

However, the number of Blacks who end up in high end colleges or any colleges for that matter is much smaller than with Whites and Asians, meaning the Princeton advice wouldn’t have a big impact unless modified. Though you don’t think of high school as a time to think about marriage, with the large numbers of Black and Hispanic teen mothers, we are engaging in marriage-based behaviors anyhow. So, why not get our young people thinking about someone they could meet in high school who might just be the ONE. On that note, I present the Blacknek version of the Princeton letter:

A Letter To Young Black Women

Prelude: I am not young. I am not a woman. But as a Black man I have grown up with Black women, attended predominantly all Black schools, and grew up in a predominantly Black city. So, these qualifications for daring to write this open letter may be sufficient for some, insufficient for others. With that said, let me begin.

Young Black Women in High School,

The future is yours. You exist in a time created by decades of protests, activism, and blood. You live in a land millions want to enter, despite its flaws and shortcomings. You claim citizenship under a government with a leader who shares your skin and your culture and with first ladies and first daughters whom share your lips, noses, eyes and essence. Make the decisions now to make your future bright.

High school is a time in your lives when things suddenly get real. Your style becomes your everything. Your body development starts to drag you out of childhood, rather you like it or not. Picking and being accepted by the right crowd of girls seems to be the most vital part of existence. And very importantly, talk of love and relationships changes from holding hands and kissing to sex and the future. On this last novelty rest the greatest stumbling block to your futures. No matter what your parents may want to accept, you know from all of the attention and desires of the opposite sex that you are a sexual creature now. Wise decisions at this point in your life will save you a lifetime of heartache, disappointment, and shortcomings.

The family problems we are facing are cyclical. Fathers who abandon sons create sons who think it’s normal to abandon their future children. Daughters of such fathers grow up to accept and even desire such men, who offer good times now with little prospects of a stable and reliable future. And the cycle continues one generation after the next.  Young Black women, there are a class of boys who think with nothing else but their crotch. They see no long term future and only live for the here and now. They are often very handsome, very confident, very charming, very well dressed, and know just the right things to say to flatter you…to make you feel like a queen. 

I’m not going to be an unrealistic moralist and advise you to live like a saint in high school, because our culture and times are beyond that ideal. BUT there is a big difference between having an occasional, youthful indiscretion at a party with proper protection versus putting your entire future in the hands of some clown by risking pregnancy and STD’s. All teens are led by hormones but there is a greater problem within our culture. The perception of a lack of available men and great competition has created a pressure to be the ‘baddest chick’, meaning not to be outperformed sexually by any other. Thus, why make a big deal about condoms when he might move on to a girl that let’s him go raw. Plus, there is this idea that getting pregnant might help to make the relationship permanent and turn the players into a responsible partner. Young black women, don’t sell yourself short by chasing such delusions.

Here is your secret for finding long term happiness with a young man: look at how he handles his school work. School is free and is the first level of responsibility this society ask of a person to fulfill. Education is the first stepping stone to a long term, productive life. Any young man who throws this away is not planning for the long term. Unfortunately for you, this means getting pregnant by such a man is almost a guarantee of raising a kid by yourself. You can’t change a boy/man who has been avoiding responsibility all of his life by presenting him with fatherhood.  If you can hold off on getting serious with anyone until you get to college, that would be even better. Even here you need to make sure the young man is taking his academics seriously and not just there on a sports scholarship. But if college is not in your future, then you have to look at high school as your best chance to secure a high quality man. It is in this setting where you can see his work ethic and character, his interest in monogamy or being a player, how much of his money is he blowing on high fashion clothes, and what kind of friends and company he likes to keep. You won’t ever get such a clear picture meeting some guy in the club or through an online profile.  You don’t have to have marriage or a serious relationship on your mind, but make a list at least of some of the high school boys you might just want to reconnect with in a few years. Thanks to social media, it is easier than ever to see how someone is progressing in life and what their current dating status might be. 

Young black women, it is time to get out of the change and reform game. We celebrate single Black mothers in our culture, and the work they have to do is admirable. But what none of our leaders are really harping on is that 90% of these situations are avoidable if smarter choices were made. When you look at a young man now, you should ask yourself ‘Does he have the core qualities of a responsible father and provider?’. You won’t change the player or the baller. If the guy has so perfected bravado, smooth talk, and swagger that he can convince you to sleep with him after a very short time, do you think he is going to put those skills in retirement. The ugly truth is that for such men/boys, the female is nothing but a conquest. The class clown in school will be a class clown in life. The player will always play. Pregnancy nor persuasion would make a permanent change is these men. They live expecting to die young.  And clowns and players are always the same, generation after generation. Just looking at the men in the videos below, you can’t help but wonder why any woman would risk pregnancy by them and what on Earth made her think they would have any interest in fatherhood or faithfulness. Stop the cycle and raise your standards. There are a group of Black women out there that swear there are no good Black men left. These are usually women who have spent their whole lives chasing after players, hoping unsuccessfully to bring them to true manhood. Good Black men are out there, but you need to know what to look for and make your move early so that you avoid following the paths of these women.

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Filed under Fatherhood, Marriage, Protecting The Family, Providing For The Family

7 Die In Ohio Home – Fire Still #1 Family Threat

Fire is the monster that can kill while your family sleeps. You may be ready to protect them from criminals but only good prevention will prevent tragedies like the one which happened recently in rural Kentucky. I’ve added a link to good tips under the PROTECT tab.

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The Hadiya Principle: Don’t Raise Your Kids In Drug Markets

Hadiya Pendleton was a girl who had the world to look forward to. An honor student, she performed as a drum majorette during President Obama’s inauguration, only to be killed unintentionally by thugs involved with Chicago’s out of control drug gang violence. Her guardians did everything right and her future was bright, but cut short for being in the wrong place and the wrong time. And this is the problem with trying to do anything good in open drug markets. Open up a business and it gets robbed. Fix up a house and it gets burglarized. Raise kids to be successful and they get harassed, assaulted, and possibly killed. Our hearts go out to the families of this girl and all the children getting killed only due to living in drug crime areas. When you are deciding where to buy your house or live longterm, remember to also keep in mind any children you might be having in the future. Why let all the love and hard work and great parenting go to tragic waste because of a street thug’s itchy trigger.

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Filed under Barak Obama, BlackNEK Lady Heroes, In The News, Protecting The Family

Hood Mothers Video: A Lesson In Ghetto Survival

This video shows a scene recently taking place in downtown Atlanta where a security guard is trying to kick some mothers and their children off of a mall’s property. Things escalated and eventually he had to tase one of them. This just infuriated the crowd and caused more to jump into the conflict. So many thoughts I have from this video that I am seeing Youtube more and more as a saving grace. We can learn as Blackneks what is needed to survive these type of situations ahead of time. Nothing is better than prep.

1) WHAT I ADMIRED ABOUT THE MALL COP: This guy did not panic at all and knew what tools he had available. He was packing a taser and a handgun. I don’t care how big and bad an aggressive person acts, there is nothing like have an armed weapon pointing at them to get them to reconsider their actions. It is so important Blackneks that you learn handgun safety and stay packing. Know the concealed weapons laws in your state. It is getting crazier and crazier out there and sooner or later some of that craziness is going to come to your door step.

2) MALL COP CRITICISM: I wish this guy can get a better job. He was doing what he had to do in a horrible situation. Unfortunately, when dealing with people in lower economic communities, you have to understand how important RESPECT is. It means everything. It affects their social standing. This cop seemed to target everyone when you really have to pick your battles. Unfortunately, because he disrespected so many of these people so publicly, I truly worry about his safety. It’s one thing if you are defending yourself against a random thug. It’s another when you are a target by an entire community. I hope he finds a new place of employment fast.

3)HOW TO DEAL WITH A KIR SITUATION: I will refer to the aggressive individuals seen in this video from this point on in this blog as the ‘Keeping It Realers’ or KIRs. As you can see in this video, KIRs can turn any living area into a war zone. IF you ever visit a city with a low-income community, you are bound to encounter KIRs. Often this might be on a bus or subway or in a store. One of the keys to surviving an encounter with KIRs is to not escalate their aggression. Avoid eye contact but don’t appear timid or fearful. Act like you belong. If a KIR starts to act up directly towards you, it is likely an attempt to impress their friends but could be a planned robbery. Let them express their bravado and remain calm. Stay polite. Especially if it is women involved as they can join together pretty quickly and through being vocal, as seen in the video, attract onlookers and more aggressive male KIRs. Remember,they are looking for any sign of disrespect. At the same time, stay alert and plan your defense in case the KIR desires to make a physical move. KIRs only act big and bad because they either have a weapon or are surrounded by friends and associates. If you have to reveal your weapon in self defense, back the KIR down but then remove yourself from the location/situation before the KIR can set up their attack or get reinforcements. I highly support having a taser as it allows you to make the first strike without it being fatal.

4)NEVER SEND YOUR KID TO A KIR SCHOOL: As you can see in the video, the children were kicked out of the mall for being unruly. Apples don’t fall far from the trees. In a largely KIR community, these are the bulk of the parents. Your child will either be influenced to be like a KIR kid or be the victim of them. If you want to give your kids any kind of chance at all, avoid living in these types of communities at all cost. If you love the city then live somewhere just outside to make weekend trips easy but don’t risk your family to crime and chaos.

5) Thank you Youtube. It is easy for us not to deal with internal issue when others are reporting it, but when we can see the ugliness and disease ourselves, we have no choice but to confront these behaviors and issues and improve.

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Filed under Fatherhood, Foolishness, Protecting The Family

More Thoughts On The Gun Debate

As I listen to more argue for and against more gun control, something seems very obvious. There are two different problems needing two different solutions, but everyone is trying to address the situation with the same paintbrush. Gun violence in high crime, urban problems has been a problem since American cities were created. Solving this problem means addressing the causes of the high crime to begin with. There are many smart and hardworking people working on this issue and in many cities, like New York, the problem is being addressed. However, this is a totally different issue than controlling and preventing the actions of random nutcases who get their hands on guns and shoot up specific, crime-free locations, such as elementary schools, churches, malls, and movie theaters. The laziest of thinkers are trying to turn this into a race issue. All shootings are terrible. All deaths are sad and we should work hard to prevent them. But the gun control steps which make sense in the first situation, such as criminal background checks, would have little impact on the events of the second situation. None of the mass shooters of recent years had crimes in their background.

Meanwhile, people in rural communities who have exercised responsible gun ownership for multiple generations are rightly upset by the control solutions being floated out there. Let’s stop trying to find one solution to fix every component of gun violence. Only addressing the specific problems will bring the best answers.

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Gun Law Proposals Don’t Seem Effective Against The Primary Problem

In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, many politicians and gun advocates are proposing ideas and laws to prevent such gun violence in the future. These basically are coming down to stronger and more required background checks and improvements in the evaluation and treatment of mental illness. But when it comes to background checks and mental illness, these proposals seem to be missing the obvious: none of them would have prevented the shootings such as those at Newtown or Columbine. These crimes were done by kids who snapped. We are not talking about life long criminals, but people who lose all sense of a moral compass. These shooters had no past felonies and appeared to be functioning (though maybe anti-social)  students or workers in society. More over, in the case of Newtown, the shooter didn’t even use guns he owned. So, while all of these proposals might have a good effect as we don’t want felons and the mentally unstable getting a hold of guns, I’m not seeing the actual problem being addressed. Unfortunately, unless we create some type of Person of Interest system for monitoring all behavior to look for sudden changes and escalations, it’s going to be difficult to get a jump on such individuals. I did hear of someone who suggested making new gun mechanisms which would disable the gun around schools, malls, and other places of large gatherings. This sounds the most promising.

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When Parenting Goes Overboard

I remember hearing some where that the kids who are always up to the most mischief are the sons and daughters of preachers. I don’t know of any stats to back that up, but I definitely believe that being overbearing with rules and control only leads to rebellion as soon as the kid can make choices for themselves. You want to guide in the right direction but also set up some safe ways for your child to learn from experience. They need to see that what you are teaching them is actually helpful and not just rules for rules sake. Eventually, the goal is to give them independence but support and watch them fly. Well in the story below, this woman’s parents were so overbearing that she had to get a restraining order against them. If you are still trying to act as the correcting parent when your kid is in college, only bad things will happen. It’s even too late if you have done nothing and decide to try being a responsible parent when they are teens. Give your kids while they are young all the success and survival skills you think they will need before letting them leave the nest and you won’t have to worry as much. Bad things happen, but all you can do is prepare them as best you can.

Side note: I really like the idea of using monitoring software on the cell phones given to your kids. But this should be done with complete awareness by your child and not abused as monitoring but simply as an additional safety measure when your kid is traveling.

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Essential BlackNEK Tools – Chain Saw Safety, Operation, and Maintenance Video

There are few tools as useful and intimidating as a chain saw. From cutting branches to clearing fallen trees during weather events, having a chain saw can be a family lifesaver. I picked up one last year but sadly it’s still in the box. Time to put it to use. Learning how to use a chain saw can also be a way to provide for your family as logging is dangerous but well paying work. You could, also, follow the BlackNEK call to serve by helping communities rebuild from such disasters as Hurricane Sandy. Below is a video from tool maker Stihl about the basics of chain saw use.

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Filed under Protecting The Family, Service

PROTECT: Parts Of A Gun

Believe it or not, I am just starting to learn about firearms and their proper use. I wanted to write something about the gun used in some of the recent tragedies, the Bushmaster AR 15 but I know nothing of gun vocabulary to even pass on basic info. I found the diagram below on a ‘prepper‘ website. These websites and people believe in hardcore prepping for some possible event which breaks down all of societies laws and order, creating a Wild Wild West for food and resources. So they take protecting the family to the extreme.

1. Barrel. The barrel is the part the bullet moves through after it is fired. The muzzle is the open end of the barrel that the bullet exits the gun through.

2. Action. The action is the part that has the mechanism that fires the bullet. My rifle picture is a bolt action. There are also lever action, semi automatic, break action single shot rifles. The top handgun is a semi automatic. The bottom is a revolver.

3. Grip or Stock. The grip or stock is the part you hold onto. Generally it’s a grip on a handgun and a stock on a long gun.

4. Trigger Guard. The piece around the trigger that protects it from getting bumped.

5. Trigger. The part your finger pulls to make the gun fire.

6. Sights. Sights come in various styles also. Most firearms have a front sight at the muzzle end of the barrel, and a rear sight at the back end of the barrel. Funny thing, the rifle picture I used has no sights (it wants a scope real badly) so I just put the arrows approximately where the sights would be if it had them.”

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Following Newtown, NRA Makes Good But Wishful Suggestion

After a long and probably wise delay, the National Rifle Association finally came out with their post-Newtown tragedy comments.  The big suggestion to come out of all of it was to have armed guards at every school.  Considering how vulnerable schools are, especially elementary schools where the kids don’t have a fighting chance, I think armed protection would be a great idea. I even think the cost would be nullified by the number of fathers willing to volunteer on rotation to serve such an honorable post. Beats the heck out of cookie baking for the next PTO meeting.  Whatever cost might come out of this security could be offset from a special tax coming off of gun registrations. What gun owner would mind paying 1-5% more to keep kids safe while keeping the government off their guns.

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